Electric Feels: Your Electronic Music Recap feat. Erthlings, Kaytranada, Gesaffelstein + more
All this, plus new work from Shallou and Ash Hendriks.
Header photo of Erthlings by Cybele Malinowski.
The world's electronic music scene moves quickly. Every week, we're treated to a horde of different singles, remixes, albums and more from the genre's vast sub-genre umbrella and often, it's hard to keep up. Here's where we try to bring you up to speed, covering five of our favourite electronic releases from the week just gone. Follow the column's official playlist below (or HERE), or check out Pilerats' homepage for more brilliant music and news.
Erthlings - Cuts & Bruises
A couple of months ago, we were introduced to the young and exciting realm of Erthlings, a collection of Sydney-based teens who with their Future Classic-released debut single Bridges, treated us to a washed-out and woozy affair thick with hazy guitar melodies and pop-centric hooks, sitting in a meeting place of sorts for the respective sounds of Cub Sport and Hatchie. Their second single, Cuts & Bruises, sees them show even more promise, offering a touch of versatility and range with a more synth-backed single that sees the anthemic shadings of their debut knocked up a few levels; bright pop hooks and catchy songwriting meeting a bouncy, flavour-filled production that keeps you on your toes. It's a fun, lively and incredibly addictive sign of growth from their debut single both in sound and lyrics, with the four-piece admitting that Cuts & Bruises is "about toxic relationships and the fact that you can see bad things coming, but sometimes you do nothing about it." Fresh from support slots with G Flip and Wafia, a stand-out performance at BIGSOUND, and news that they'll be touring with Amy Shark and Clairo next year (with more to be announced, no doubt), Cuts & Bruises is a sign of a band worth listening to... and falling in love with.
Kaytranada - Nothin Like U / Chances
It's been a while between drinks, but Kaytranada is back and he's sounding better than ever. Last week saw the arrival of his first major project since his sensational debut album 99.9% in 2016, with a three-track EP (combined with two accompanying instrumentals) signalling an exciting new time for the Canadian beat-maker as he strides towards his long-awaited second album, teased for release next year. It opens with Nothin Like U, a woozy, Ty Dolla $ign-featuring cut that combines Kaytranada's signature hip-hop bounce with Ty's restrained and almost R&B-leaning groove; his voice perfectly suited to the soft funk of Kaytranada's percussive production. The second track, Chances, sees him link up with past collaborator Shay Lia for another R&B-centric cut, before It Was Meant 2 B swoops in to close the release, showcasing the masterful production skills of Kaytranada in plain sight, no vocal covering and taking the limelight away from his effortlessly brilliant funk-house pulse. It's an EP that really showcases everything we've come to love from one of the world's best producers over the last few years, keeping us satisfied until his next album no doubt knocks us off our feet once again.
Gesaffelstein - Reset
Speaking of big-name electronic returns last week, enter Gesaffelstein. The mysterious, French producer has been seemingly hard at work on the long-awaited follow-up to his infamous 2013 debut Aleph, and after working with names including The Weeknd, Jean-Michel Jarre and Kanye West over the last few years, has seemingly refocused on his own work with his first single in a long, long while, Reset. Marking his first release via Columbia, announced following Bromance Records' end last year, Reset is a return to former glory from the French techno mastermind, offering an exercise in restraint as he pulls back from the heaving tech of Aleph highlights for a slightly more low-key number, combining his signature, dark pulse with moody synth work that floats underneath. In true Gesaffelstein fashion, it's raw and sinister, the dark synth meeting the thick bass that forms Reset's backbone, while in the single's accompanying video clip, it seems that Gesa offers a parody of modern hip-hop culture - look-alikes of recent, controversial risers such as Tekashi 6ix9ine among the circling, strange video clip.
Shallou - Count On
Since initially capturing our attention way back in 2016 with Heights, LA-based electronic musician Shallou has become one of our international favourites, with releases such as his lush, Kasbo-featuring new EP Souls solidifying his place as a front-runner of "blissful electronica," his music "channelling a depth and warmth that can sometimes be difficult to find in the electronic world." His new single Count On is his first release since and much like his other work, it's a subdued, pulled-back take on dizzying electro-pop full of that Shallou charm; soft synth pulses and muffled percussion kicks meeting the airy, echoing vocal of guest collaborator Colin. It's packed full of emotion and power, even in the single's production alone, summarising a massive twelve months for Shallou that has seen him go from a near-unknown name internationally to one of electronic's most exciting names, and we have no worries saying that his 2019 will be even better.
Ash Hendriks - Hold
Despite only having two singles under her belt (now three with the release of her latest), Sydney-based musician Ash Hendriks has already mustered up a position as one of the our bubbling electronic scene's most exciting, mixing together lush, synth-backed productions, with soulful, R&B-leaning undertones that over the past 24 months or so, have continually grown in strength, skill and confidence. Her latest single, Hold, ends a big 2018 with her most triumphant and bold single yet, combining a warping, punchy production unlike anything she's ever worked with before with her own dazzling vocal, which this time around, takes on a left-field-pop-esque groove in a similar vein to Grimes' more subdued work. It's definitely unique, bridging the gap between soft and hard electronica between her delicate, floating vocals and the single's crushing production, and a sure sign that you should be following Hendriks as she continues to strive into 2019.